The Central Connecticut men's basketball season came to an end in the quarterfinal round of the 2013 Northeast Conference Tournament on Wednesday night. The #7 Blue Devils fell 72-50 to #2 seed Wagner on Staten Island, and finish the season with a 13-17 overall record with the loss.
Wagner improves to 19-11 overall and advances to the NEC Semifinals on Saturday. They will host the second-lowest remaining seed as #1 seed Robert Morris topped St. Francis Brooklyn in the first round on Wednesday night.
Sophomore Kyle Vinales led the Blue Devils in scoring with 23 points. He had four threes. Classmate Malcolm McMillan added 10 in the loss. Junior Matt Hunter had 10 rebounds to go along with eight points.
Vinales scored 23 points, pushing his season total to 649, a new school record for points in a season. He finished the year averaging 21.6 points per game, becoming the first player in the 17 seasons under head coach Howie Dickenman to average over 20 points in a season. He has 1,179 points in his first season with the Blue Devils, putting him 23rd on the all-time scoring list.
The Blue Devils started 3-16 from the field and fell down 13-6 in the first 10 minutes of the game.
They cut it to 15-12 on a floater from Hunter with 7:20 left before halftime. A Vinales three made it 20-17 with 4:18 to play, but the Seahawks would take over in the final minutes before halftime. They outscored the Blue Devils 12-2 in the final 4:18. The only two points for the Blue Devils came at the free-throw line.
Central turned tyhe ball over seven times in the first half, and shot only 6-of-27 from the floor. They werte 1-of-7 from three. Wagner was just 12-of-32 from the field and 2-of-7 form three. They had just three turnovers.
The Wagner lead reached 37-21 before a Vinales three cut it to 13. Wagner stretched it to 43-26 with 14:54 to play on the second three of the game from Marcus Burton. His third three made it a 20 point game.
It was 57-35 with 7:45 on the clock after back-to-back buckets under the hoop from Wagner's Jon Williams.
Wagner advanced to the semifinals and will host a game on Saturday, the time is TBA. The Blue Devil season ends at 13-17 overall.